Heroes: What We Look For in Leading Men

In novels, a hero is the central male character in a fictional tale. A leading man with admirable qualities. Although the hero’s positive traits may not be obvious in the introduction, he possesses characteristics that typically will serve him and the heroine (since I write love stories). That’s not to say those strengths won’t come into play as weaknesses or obstacles at some point in the plot.

Think about your favorite story heroes from the books and movies you love. Who comes to mind? What would you list as the leading man’s admirable characteristics?

I asked the fans of my Mona Hodgson Author Page on Facebook to list three traits every hero should possess. I grouped similar responses, choosing one common term. Then I had some fun considering the key traits of the heroes that populate my Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek novels.


I’ve listed the fifteen desirable traits for leading men, starting with the most mentions at the top then descending to the least poplular ones:

Love of God
God First, Family Second
Willingness to grow with the heroine

The Sinclair Sisters of Cripple Creek series

Here are five characteristics you’ll find in my story heroes, along with his particular flaw or flaws:

1. A Deepening Faith in God (may start out as a seeker, but he moves forward on the continuum in his spiritual journey) as he grows in God’s Grace
2. Integrity
3. Conviction
4. Humor
5. Resourcefulness

What traits do you count most important in a story hero?

Comments 2

  1. I’m looking forward to meeting your hero, Mona! I’m eagerly awaiting getting to know your characters and I’m going to get the books when I see you at the signing. It’s been an interesting road for me with my book, having a hero who isn’t heroic in any way. I look at these qualities and have a hard time finding any. But also reminding myself that they come and begin to grow inside him as part of the redemption process. You’ve listed such lovely traits!

    1. Hi Joanne! Thanks for reading Hindsight. I’m reading an “early” copy of BESIDE STILL WATERS…Gideon is definitely an anti-hero. BUT the traits are there…deep, and I’m rooting for him to find his way. Quickly. So excited to host you here on Hindsight in October! Hugs, Mona

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